A recent article in the NY Times served to highlight the progress the medical community is making in combating genetic disorders.
The development of Crispr-Cas9 gene editing technology is profoundly altering the way the medical community is approaching the treatment of genetic disorders. By enhancing accuracy and simplifying the process for the removal and insertion of specific genes in the DNA sequence, Crispr-Cas9 has brought gene therapy back to the forefront of research in the treatment of genetic disorders.To no surprise, one of the key components of this treatment approach are stem cells.
In a recently published article, scientists from the German Cancer Research Center [DKFZ] have detailed the risks of stress-induced stem cell activation to cause DNA damage. Stressful events within the body drive adult stem cells into high energy states of rapid cell division and DNA synthesis to produce blood or repair damaged tissue. But since the transition from dormancy to executing these complicated functions is so abrupt, DNA is more likely to be damaged, resulting in cell death or harmful mutations.